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Keywords:

  • Dehydration;
  • diarrhoea;
  • oral rehydration salts solution;
  • oral rehydration therapy;
  • rotavirus

A hypotonic oral rehydration salts (ORS) solution with total osmolality of 224 rnosmol/l was compared in an open clinical trial with an isotonic (osmolality 304 mosmol/l) ORS solution for the treatment of dehydration due to acute diarrhoea. Both ORS solutions had the same electrolyte composition with a Na+ concentration of 60 mmol/l. Children given the hypotonic ORS solution (n= 103) passed significantly fewer diarrhoeal stools, and their diarrhoea and hospital stay were shorter than those of children given the isotonic ORS solution (n= 135). We conclude that hypotonic ORS (“light” ORS) has clinical advantages over the standard ORS currently used in Finland.